• Petitioned C. Larry Pope

This petition was delivered to:

CEO, Smithfield
C. Larry Pope

Tell Smithfield No More Gestation Crates

    1. Petition by

      The Humane Society of The United States

December 2011


After more than 15,000 people joined The Humane Society of the United States' campaign on Change.org, Smithfield Foods has agreed to phase out the use of all gestation crates in its facilities by 2017! The company had originally set the deadline as part of a 2007 announcement, but delayed their plans in 2009. Now they've heard from consumers around the world who object to cruel confinement of pigs.

Wayne Pacelle, President of The Humane Society of the United States, stated, “Smithfield’s recommitment is an important and welcome move. With the company back on track with its phase-out, we’re getting closer to the day when the cruel confinement of pigs in gestation crates will be a bygone era for the entire hog industry.” Pacelle continued, “We recognize Smithfield’s recommitment as progress and urge its competitors such as Tyson, Hormel, Triumph, Prestage, Seaboard, and others to stop lagging behind and follow suit by adopting similar policies.”

An HSUS undercover investigator recently documented the suffering endured by female breeding pigs held in severely restrictive gestation crates on a factory farm operated by a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, in Waverly, Virginia. Gestation crates are exceptionally cruel and have been banned by the European Union, New Zealand and seven U.S. states. In 2007, Smithfield said it would phase out the use of gestation crates by 2017, yet in 2009 it said it could no longer meet its self-imposed and very lenient deadline.

Many of these highly intelligent and inquisitive pigs develop pressure sores and infections from crate-related injuries and from simply lying in the same position without relief. Out of sheer boredom, they engage in repetitive behaviors — such as bar biting and head swaying — sometimes injuring themselves in the process.

Please send C. Larry Pope, CEO of Smithfield, a message urging him to recommit to the company's original promise and stop the use of these inhumane gestation crates on Smithfield's factory farms by 2017.

Recent signatures


    1. Victory! Smithfield Will Stop Using Cruel Gestation Crates

      Animal welfare and food safety advocates just won a big victory! Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer and processer, has agreed to phase out the use of gestation crates by 2017.
      Gestation crates are tiny, two-foot-by-seven-foot stalls...

    2. Reached 15,000 signatures
    3. Smithfield Makes Limited Progress on Gestation Crates

      Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer, heard you, and it's making some progress in phasing out cruel, unsanitary gestation crates.
      You see back in 2007, Smithfield announced a goal to phase out all of its gestation crates — tiny...

    4. Reached 12,500 signatures
    5. What Do Pigs Get from Gestation Crates?

      They get pressure sores and infections from being locked in the same position for too long. Plus, the boredom drives them insane, causing them to engage in repetitive behaviors like bar-biting and head swaying.

    6. Smithfield Boasted Record Profits

      Smithfield reneged on its gestation crate promise in 2009, citing "economic conditions." This year the company boasted record profits, so there's no reason it can't re-commit to phasing out gestation crates.

    7. Smithfield Fails to Honor its Promise

      Smithfield promised in 2007 to phase out gestation crates, then reneged in 2009 citing economic concerns. Despite boasting record profits, Smithfield still hasn't re-committed to phase out gestation crates!

    8. Reached 10,000 signatures
    9. Smithfield's Broken Gestation Crate Promise

      Back in 2007, Smithfield, the world's largest pork producer,  said it would phase out the use of gestation crates by 2017. Now the company has gone back on that promise even though it recently boasted record profits. Looks like the behemoth pork...

    10. The HSUS undercover video of Smithfield's pork production earned a 2011 Telly Award:

    11. Reached 9 signatures
    12. Temple Grandin to Smithfield Foods: Gestation Crates Have Got to Go

      Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer, recently produced a series of slick, whitewashed videos claiming to "take the mystery out of pork production." In reality, the videos aren't so much about solving a mystery as they are a response...

    13. Reached 7 signatures
    14. Smithfield was recently recognized for its "corporate responsibility" ... But there's nothing responsible about allowing animal suffering or ignoring promises made to shareholders.

    15. Smithfield has a pretty dismal record when it comes to workers rights, too:

    16. CBS Business Network calls the videos produced by Smithfield "An Entertaining -- But Fictitious -- Account of Pork Production"

    17. Check out the great editorial cartoon targeting Smithfield from last week's Daily Tar Heel "Pork: The Fine Print..."

    18. Smithfield claimed they couldn't phase out gestation crates due to financial problems, but now they have record profits. They're out of excuses.

      More from Vegansaurus:

    19. The Manitoba Pork Council is encouraging all producers to phase out gestation crates by 2025. "New forms of housing must be practical and provide protection to animals and humans alike."

      Smithfield needs to recommit to their 2017 phase-out date if they're going to stay competitive with their so-called animal welfare standards.

    20. Reached 6 signatures
    21. Yesterday, Miru Kim's new show opened at the Doosan Gallery in New York, titled "The Pig That Therefore I Am," where she took photos of herself at hog farms, not as animal activism, but as an artistic statement.

      In an interview, she said, "I learned firsthand that there is absolutely nothing enjoyable about industrial hog farms." She also described one farm: "The clanking of metal crates, the screams and grunts, the smell, the filth, the dreary eyes of pregnant sows confined in gestation crates ..."

    22. Read HSUS's Wayne Pacelle's blog on the movement to stop factory farm investigations: We don't need to stop the investigations, we need to stop the cruelty.

    23. points out that Smithfield's PR videos are still troubling -- the pigs "are still imprisoned, exhausted and flat on their sides on a concrete floor, nursing large litters of piglets, artificially inseminated with huge needles, housed in dimly lit warehouses all their lives, etc."

    24. From Farm Sanctuary: "Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: More Attempts by Agribusiness to Obscure Reality of Factory Farms"

    25. Tracy Worcester, Director of "Pig Business," writes on Huffington Post about the growing resistance to factory pig farming:


    Reasons for signing

    • Edward Jasiewicz PITTSBURGH, PA
      • almost 3 years ago

      This is more than awful and must be stopped. NO TORTURE FOR PROFIT!

    • Terri Scheinuck COTTONWOOD, AZ
      • almost 3 years ago


      Procrastination is not complimentary in this day and age.

      This practice is unenlightened, uncompassionate, blatantly abusive and disgusting.

      This is your ingraved invitation to get off your butts and make the change.

      Enough already! Grow up! Wake up!

    • Chelsea Sparks UNIVERSITY PLACE, WA
      • almost 3 years ago

      I was 17 when I found out where my meat came from. I've been a strict vegetarian since that day, almost seven years ago. Factory farms horrify me to my soul. It's hard to believe that human beings are capable of such cruelty.

    • Julie Eyrich ROCHESTER, MN
      • almost 3 years ago

      If a farmer placed out beloved cats or dogs in a gestation crate, the farmer would be sitting in jail with a conviction of animal cruelty. Pigs are considered smarter than dogs.

    • Star Ralston REDDING, CA
      • almost 3 years ago

      I abhor the unnecessary cruelty inflicted on animals raised for food and I want it to end NOW! More regulations and monitoring and stop these practices that hidden from the average American who has no idea what that animals have to endure. Make the public aware of this openly and often until things are changed.


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